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Dodd Staying As Banking Chairman

Ending speculation, Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) said Wednesday that he intends to remain chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, Bloomberg News is reporting. He had been rumored as a candidate to replace Vice President-elect Joseph Biden at the helm of the Foreign Relations Committee or to take over from Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) as chairman of the Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions Committee (HELP).

Dodd's decision to stay clears the way for Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) to take over the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and opens a contest for leadership of the HELP committee.

"As chairman of the Banking Committee, he will be conducting vigilant oversight of the Treasury Department's implementation of the recently enacted financial-rescue law, as well as examining additional steps to strengthen the U.S. economy," Dodd spokesman Bryan DeAngelis said in a statement to Bloomberg. 

"While the committee’s agenda is at the Chairman’s discretion," said Jonathan Graffeo, spokesman for ranking member Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), "it appears that two areas of focus in the 111th Congress will be oversight of the economic bailout and consideration of regulatory restructuring. Although we will likely examine these two products of the economic crisis, the Committee has yet to gain a full understanding of its evolution. Senator Shelby has long urged the committee to undertake that process and continues to believe it is necessary in order to produce an informed and effective response going forward.

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